Growing Grapes in Texas Jim Kamas Central Texas Gardener
I love Tait Moring's sense ofgardening style. Thanks so much for opening your gates for us. Right now we're going to talk aboutgrowing grapes. One of the hottest topics here in Texas because of all the wineries. We have Jim Kamas with us. It's great to have you back on theprogram. Welcome. Thanks, Tom, I appreciate it. Welcome back to Central Texas Gardener. You've just published a great new bookGrowing Grapes in Texas.
Congratulations on that! Thanks a lot. It took a couple years to get done, but I'm I'm pretty happy with it. Well you know, like I said, it's a hottopic. A lot of people are very interested in growing grapes in their backyard. Maybe one ofthose famous table grapes, like Concord or something like that. Well Concord ispretty tough to grow here. Concord likes acid soils which we don'thave. And it's much more adapted a cooler climates. If you wanted to grow Fredonia or some of the other lebrusca types, they'll work, but
Concord is a pretty tough one to grow here. Ok, well your book is filled with tips aboutvarieties and things like that. Let's focus on that home grower. You know , I know for example I go out to hillcountry every now and again to go to Fredericksburg, places around there. And I see wineries springing up like mushrooms now. And it kinda makes me wanna grow grapeshere in town. What does a home gardner need to know to get startedé Well if you're a homeowner and you want to grow enough vines to produce a little bit of wine
my advice is plant what you like. If you're planting a commercial vineyards we're going to have a very different discussion. But if you like Merlot, plant Merlot. If you like Syrah, plant Syrah. For smallscale, you have no big economicinvestment, so plant what you like and go with that. Yeah okay, that makes sense. In terms of the space needs, the sun,
all those kinds of things, grapes arerather particular and disease prone. Yes. So let's give people an idea of whatthe basics are that they would need to have any kind of success. Sure. Commercially our rows are spaced nine to ten feet apart, but in the backyard if you are maintaining the row centers with alawnmower or something, you can place the rows as close as six feet apart.And you can also go as tight as five to six feet between vines. You can put a lot of vines in arelatively small space.
So small space is OK. When we talk about the rows, we are talking about providing structures on which the the vines can grow and supportthemselves. Yes, a lot of times in California you'll see these free standing vines that are called head pruned vines. They don't do very well here because we need to keep our vines up off the ground because it rains here duringthe summer and they are very disease prone as you mentioned.
High Density Espalier Gardener Grapes 022815 Update
This is the High Density Espalier Gardener And I am going to be showing you An update on my little MiniVineyard The last time I had shown this little area That I put together I had 10 different kinds of Grape vines Now I have 14 And on the last tutorial
I didn't say what the dimensions were On this one I would like for you to see How much I have planted in a small area I say High Density because I am putting a lot of different plants In a very small area And that will be true for all Of the tutorials that I post
Here at the end. By the way Its important to note that The Grapes come out at different times So that you don't have All of the Grapes all at once You have actually a nice long Season of Grapes
If you get a good mix Here on the end I have a Perlette And the dimensions are From this post To this post From the top all the way across It is about 10 feet
And from here, this post, All the way to the end Is about 20 feet I am going to be planting 3 more Grapes That I have on the end And they are potted still At that point
The total area will be 10 by maybe 25 or 26 feet I have the Perlette here I have a Cabernet And by the way Of the 14 I have a really nice mix Of table Grapes and wine Grapes And since I have no plans of making wine
High Density Espalier Gardener Grapes 101413
Ok this is the High Density Espalier Gardener and today I am showing you my High Densityplanting of my Grape Vines I have 10 Grape Vines here and they are allspaced 1.5 feet apart. I have a Perlette and a Cabernet and I planted these at differenttimes. First I planted 5 at 3 feet apart then I came back in and I planted others in betweenthose. This one is a Blueberry (Grape) apparently it has some sort of flavor of Blueberriesin it. This one is a Merlot. I have a Black Monukka, nice little grape. I have a Zinfandeland all of these have given grapes already except the Thompson's seedless, I am not surewhy it hasn't, but this one as you can see
has little grapes. Each one of these costsabout $25 at Home Depot or Lowes and I have pretty much made my money back on the grapesthat I have gotten back from these. This one is a Summer Muscat this one still hasn't givengrapes yet. Kind of a baby plant. Red Flame got a LOT of grapes from this one. As youcan see about 1.5 feet apart and I have a common row all along the bottom where I dugup the dirt and mixed compost in it plus fertilizer and I put a little rail (border) all aroundit so that when I water, the water stays in there and plus it keeps the grass out. Itis pretty much weed free. I have a Himrod, not sure if I said that already, and my Thompson'sSeedless. What I did was and you should be
able to see it on all of them, I am doingwhat is called Cordon Trimming (Pruning) and on the Thompson I've done a modified so thatIt has the long branches and supposedly these give grapes at the end of the branches insteadof closer toward the beginning on many of these other ones. I went over to Home Depotand I got these Green Posts. These are 8 ft. tall. Once they are driven into the groundthey're pretty steady and I got the wire, wrapped it around and it gets caught on theselittle things here so it won't fall down. Pretty steady holds up the plants quite nice.I should be getting a nice canopy over the top of them but even with the canopy it stillallows plenty of sunlight to go through. So
that is my little Mini Vineyard.